As of October 30, 2020, businesses in Nova Scotia will not be permitted to provide or sell plastic retail bags to customers. A plastic retail bag is a bag “made of plastic, including biodegradable or compostable plastic, but does not include a reusable bag”.
The change is being put in place to reduce waste, and to address the environmental damage caused by single-use plastic check-out bags. The regulation applies to all retailers who sell, or offer to sell, goods to the public.
The ban does not apply to a bag used to:
- loose bulk items like fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains or candy
- food or baked goods that aren’t pre-packaged
- small hardware items like nails, nuts and bolts
- frozen foods, meat, poultry or fish, whether it’s prepacked or not
- prescription drugs from a pharmacy
- products that can’t fit in a reusable bag
- transporting dry cleaning
- packaging medical supplies and health services
- wrapping flowers or potted plants
- protecting tires
- transporting live fish
The sale of bags, including plastic bags, intended for use in a person’s home or business, which are sold in packages of multiple bags, is still permitted.